MA in Literature

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Photo: Yulia Ryzhik

The degree requires 30 hours of course work, competence in a language other than English, and a substantial portfolio of scholarly work with a reflective preface situating the work in a critical and/or historical context. All students work under Plan II (non-thesis), as described below.

Students pursuing an MA are encouraged to study literature broadly, leaving specialization for later PhD study.

Course Requirements (30 hrs)

Core Courses (9 hrs)

Nine hours of courses including the introduction to professional studies in English, pedagogy, and theory.

  • Engl. 500: Introduction to the Professional Study of English (3 hrs)
  • Engl. 530, 533, 534 or 592: Pedagogy (3 hrs)
  • Engl. 510, 511, 610 or 541 when taught from a theoretical perspective: Theory (3 hrs)

Area Elective Courses (18 hrs)

Eighteen hours of area electives, including two seminars, with at least one course from each of the following four areas.

  1. Middle Ages (English literatures and language to 1485)
  2. Early Modern/Contact Period (Literatures in English 1485-1720)
  3. Eighteenth & Nineteenth Cent. (Literatures in English 1720-1900)
  4. Modern and Contemporary (Literatures in English 1900-Present)

Portfolio (3 hrs)

See below for guidelines on completing the portfolio.

  • Engl. 596: Portfolio (3 hrs)

Language Skill Requirement

All MA students in Language and Literature must demonstrate competency with a grade of B or better through a second semester, second-year level undergraduate course or through a graduate-level reading course in a language other than English. Coursework from previous institutions, coursework at UNM, or tests administered either by UNM or CLEP may be used to fulfill the language skill requirement. Students may use English 547 (Introduction to Old English) and 548 (Advanced Old English) to fulfill competency. Language skill course credits cannot normally be used as part of the 30 credit hours required for the degree.

The Committee on Studies (COS)

The Associate Chair for Graduate Studies (ACGS) is the default advisor for MA students in Language and Literature until MA students complete a Committee on Studies (COS) form, no later than the end of the third semester; the COS advises the student on course selection and on portfolio preparation.The committee shall consist of three faculty members: two faculty members, at least one of whom is from the English Department, plus the ACGS.

Portfolio Guidelines

MA students in Language and Literature must complete a portfolio and defense as the equivalent of the Master’s Examination. Students must assemble a portfolio for formal evaluation by the COS no later than the ninth week of the final semester of enrollment. Portfolios may contain two article-length essays from separate periods (25 pages each); or one long essay or project (45-50 pages); or other equivalent combinations of COS-approved scholarly, critical, and academic works from a variety of genres (annotated bibliographies, textual studies, scholarly book reviews, etc.) including written examination essays. All portfolios must also include a twelve- to fifteen-page preface situating the portfolio selections in a critical, theoretical, historical, or professional context. The reflective preface, which cites academic and other sources to demonstrate that the materials in the portfolio engage in the most pertinent theoretical and critical practices in their field(s), is important to evaluating the success of the portfolio.

Department of English Language and Literature
Humanities Building, Second Floor
MSC03 2170
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001

Phone: (505) 277-6347
Fax: (505) 277-0021